Children’s Representatives in Psychiatric Services - what is the Outcome?

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Children’s Representatives in Psychiatric Services - what is the Outcome?

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Publication Conference Paper, peer reviewed
Title Children’s Representatives in Psychiatric Services - what is the Outcome?
Author(s) Östman, Margareta
Date 2009
English abstract
Background: Psychiatric services have established children’s representatives in an effort to support children of mentally ill patients. Method: Twenty-two specially-designated children’s representatives and 19 other staff members were asked how they conceived the role of children’s representatives and if those representatives had the responsibility of identifying children of mentally ill patients. Discussion: Children’s representatives expressed difficulty in functioning as advocates for children whose parents were being treated for mental illness. Members of the psychiatric staff, although aware their patients had children, seldom met them, since they focused on the adults. Conclusions: More than one-third of all patients seeking psychiatric care have children, yet children’s representatives and other staff members seldom meet them. While in principle instituting a corps of children’s representatives may remedy this situation, an attempt to translate such a programme into practice indicates that obstacles persist. Our findings show that much remains to be done by way of clarifying the role of children’s representatives and the benefits they might bring. Other providers of psychiatric services considering a similar initiative might make it a priority to educate their entire staff on the needs of children of severely mentally ill patients. This would enable all psychiatric personnel to have the capacity to support those of their clients who are parents and, at the same time, include their children, thus securing the integrity of the family.
Link http://www.ialmh.org/NewYork2009/Final_book.pdf (external link to publication)
Host/Issue Abstracts of the XXXIst International Congress on Law and Mental Health
Pages s 127
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Medicine
Research Subject Categories::MEDICINE::Psychiatry
Note XXXIst International Congress on Law and Mental Health, New York University Law School June 28 - July 3, 2009
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/9353 (link to this page)
Link http://www.ialmh.org/ (external link to related web page)

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